Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie

HARTFORD, CT — In what was a slightly uncomfortable 12-minute press conference, Gov.-elect Ned Lamont announced that Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman agreed to chair the Connecticut Democratic Party and Nick Balletto, who oversaw this year’s Democratic victories, was out.

Balletto had told Lamont more than a year ago not to run for governor. That’s not something Lamont was able to forget, even though he said it didn’t factor into his decision to ask Wyman to run.

“After that primary he was a great leader for the party,” Lamont said referring to Balletto. “But we’re starting up a new government and I thought it was time to make a change here in the party.”

Lamont said he has a long history with Wyman and thought the party needed new leadership.

Wyman still needs to win approval from the 72 state central committee members who will vote on her chairmanship at the end of January. It shouldn’t be hard to win their support.

Lt. Gov.-elect Susan Bysiewicz said there’s “no one that is more well-liked within our party than Nancy Wyman.”

Wyman, who leaves office in January, joked that her husband must have called Lamont to make sure she didn’t stay at home.

Wyman, who has been in politics for 30 years starting with the Tolland Board of Education, said she would look to increase the number of young people who are involved in party politics.

The decision was applauded by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.

“I have often said that Nancy Wyman’s decision to abandon a safe re-election to the comptroller’s office to join my campaign is the best thing that ever happened to me politically,” Malloy said. “That remains truer now than ever.  I could not ask for a better friend and partner in government, and there is no one better prepared for the challenging and often thankless job of party chair than Nancy.”

Aresimowicz agreed. 

“Not only has Nancy had an incredible public service career, but she brings the rare quality of being a beloved figure along the entire spectrum and ranks of the Democratic party,” he said. “I personally have benefitted from her counsel and support throughout the years, and can’t think of a better choice to lead our party during this time of great opportunity for our state.”

Wyman promised that Balletto would stay involved.

Balletto said it has been an honor to serve the Democratic Party over the last four years.

“I’m proud of every accomplishment and the progress we were able to build on,” Balletto said. “I’ve been in politics my entire life and these last few years might have been the proudest and the biggest honor.”

Gov.-elect Ned Lamont and Democratic Party Chair Nick Balletto.

Posted by CTNewsJunkie.com on Thursday, December 13, 2018